12/01/2011 3:51PM

Hollywood Park: Tres Borrachos not sneaking up in Native Diver

Benoit & Associates
Tres Borrachos, with Rafael Bejarano up, wins the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Tres Borrachos was an overlooked 30-1 outsider when he rallied through the Churchill Downs stretch to finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

There will be no longshot prices when Tres Borrachos starts as the expected favorite in Saturday’s $100,000 Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Trained by Marty Jones for George Hicker and Button Stables, Tres Borrachos was in the midst of an outstanding year before the BC Dirt Mile. At Del Mar in July, Tres Borrachos won the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap, a win followed by a sixth in the Pacific Classic and a fifth in the Goodwood Stakes.

Tres Borrachos was a longshot in all three off those races. He faces a much easier field in the Grade 3 Native Diver, which is run over 1 1/8 miles on the synthetic main track.

[MORE: Full coverage of the Saturday card from Hollywood Park]

“He seemed like he handled the travel well,” Jones said of the trip to the Breeders’ Cup. “We feel pretty confident he’ll run a good race. We tried something in the Goodwood. We rushed him a bit, and I don’t think he liked it. He seems to like making a run, like he did in the Breeders’ Cup.”

Tres Borrachos will be ridden by Joel Rosario, who was aboard for the Goodwood and BC Dirt Mile. A 6-year-old gelding, Tres Borrachos has won 4 of 34 starts and $864,257. He is part of a field of seven in the Native Diver, but is the only 2011 stakes winner in the field.

Jones is confident that the Native Diver distance will work for Tres Borrachos, who won the Swaps Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park in 2008.

“When he won at Del Mar, if there had been another sixteenth, it wouldn’t have been an issue,” Jones said.

Three of the Native Diver entrants won their last starts in allowance races or optional claimers – Kettle Corn, Rescue Squad, and Summer Movie.

Eldaafer was sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, a race he won in 2010. This year, Eldaafer has won a starter allowance at Atlantic City and an allowance race at Delaware Park in eight starts.

Tweebster and Massone are threats to Tres Borrachos. Tweebster was second by a nose in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita in January and was later seventh in the Santa Anita Handicap. A 4-year-old, Tweebster returned from a break of more than eight months to finish second in the Yo Eleven Stakes over 7 1/2 furlongs here Nov. 11.

Massone was second in an optional claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 25, his most recent start. That was not the intention of trainer Tim Yakteen, who said that the 5-year-old Massone has battled minor injuries this fall.

“We lost a bit of time when he grabbed himself significantly when he came back from Del Mar,” Yakteen said. “We’re looking for a nice run from him. I’d like to have another race under his belt.”

Native Diver Stakes (G3), Post Time: 4:07 PT Saturday

Purse: $100,000; 1 1/8 miles





ML Odds


Kettle Corn

J. Sadler

G. Gomez




B. Koriner

J. Talamo




B. Baffert

R. Bejarano



Rescue Squad

C. McGaughey III

M. Smith



Summer Movie

A. Sherman

A. Delgadillo



Tres Borrachos

M. Jones

J. Rosario




T. Yakteen

M. Garcia